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ghirardelli. c-b-s five consumerwatch reporter julie watts shows s >>> best of black friday deals may not come on black friday after all. >> cbs 5s consumer watch reporter julie watts show us when the best deals turn up. >> reporter: we see it every year. the shopping stampede after the last slice of pumpkin pie. this year, you may want to stay home and digest because a lot of those black friday specials aren't so special. >> the -- it's to drum up excitement. >> matthew -- many black friday ads this year look awfully familiar. >> ninety% of the retailers we look at are going to at least one of the exact same items of the exact same price on black friday as last year's black friday. >> reporter: for example, last year radio shack advertised this 500-gig usb for $49.99. this year, it's offering the same product for the same price and it turns out it's not the best price. >> this went on sail this year. >> reporter: he said the usb price hit rock bottom five days ago when it was selling for five bucks cheaper than the black friday ad. it's a similar story for the wireless printer at staples, sel
on the hook for tickets or tows. but as julie watts explains, you might be. >> i just don't understand it. it does not make sense. >> reporter: when they sold their '94 pontiac for $500, they never imagined that it could cost them thousands. she thought she did everything right. >> we'll have to get this cleared. >> reporter: three days after the sale, she transferred the title, filling out the lease of liability in person at the dmv. little did she know that very same day the pontiac's new owner put the car back up for sale and parked it on the dirt lot in salinas. the car sits in the tow lot, racking up $72 a day in storage fee and the tow truck driver says they are the ones that need to pay. >> basically the guy at the tow yard is saying i could ruin your credit just because you won't pay me. that's not right. >> reporter: while the owner of the tow yard would not speak on camera, he gave us the dmv paperwork that still lists them as the pontiac's registered owner and he says that makes her responsible for the fees. >> how could i be released of liability, but then still be listed as t
consumerwatch reporter julie watts tells , stores are "required" to mat up t >>> black friday steals and deals oversold. down the count on the online purchase until it's in your hands. cbs 5 consumerwatch reporter julie watts tells us stores are required to make it up to you. >> it's either in stock or out of stock. >>> reporter: every year about a week before christmas -- >> i was livid. >> reporter: -- we get flooded with the same complaints about online black friday deals. >> i went online thanksgiving night. it was there. i grabbed it. >> i put my credit card information. >> got an order confirmation and i thought, i'm good to go. i don't have to look for any other tvs. >> reporter: but then days later, after all the other black friday deals expired -- >> they sent an email saying the item is no longer available. >> they supposedly had some type of technical error which allowed more tvs to be purchased than they had in inventory and they would not be honoring those orders. >> reporter: in 2010, a computer glitch prompted target, buy.com and fry's to oversell limited online door buster de
julie watts explains one of those >>> if you are sitting on/couch you're probably sitting on a pound of toxic chemicals. cbs 5 consumerwatch reporter julie watts explains one of those chemicals was banned decades ago. >> so in the '70s, every child in america was wearing pajamas that were like 10% by weight chemical. >> reporter: after she discovered the common flame retardant with a carcinogen actually changed dna public outrage prompted 9 chemical industry to remove it from children's clothing. but the same chemical is in your couch. in order it comply with a 1970s california flammability regulation every couch sold in california contains chemical flame retardants but a joint study released out of uc- berkeley and duke found 94% of couches nationwide also contain the chemicals. >> the public should know that tdcpp is on furniture to slow fire spread. >> reporter: the industry defends the use of flame retardants. >> tdcpp and other flame retardant have been reviewed by regulators and found to be safe at levels people are typically exposed to them. >> reporter: bloom says that's not
the heaviest rainfall and julie watts with what to expect from insurance companies before they pay for storm damage. to find out what's happening in your neighborhood use our interrer active high-def doppler radar online. log on to our website, cbssf.com/weather. >>> the long battle over a historic northern california oyster farm is over tonight. the drakes bay oyster company along point reyes national seashore will be shut down converted back to a wilderness area. u.s. interior secretary ken salazar decided not to renew the farm's lease which expires at the end of the month. he says that it should be returned to wilderness for future generation to enjoy. >>> other bay area headlines, a manhunt is on for an intruder who snuck into a woman's palo alto apartment as she slept. police say the victim woke just after 2 a.m. to find the man in a dark hooded sweatshirt standing in her room. investigators think he intended to rape her. he took off when she started screaming. >>> in oakland, no agreement yet on whether to hand control of the police department over to federal authorities. today was the
. this is the pursuit of perfection. cbs 5 reporter julie watts s us what shipping com . >> don't let grinch steal your holiday presents. >> because it's that time of year. julie shows us what shipping companies are doing to keep thieves from swiping your packages. >> reporter: officer david blake says so called porch pirating rises dramatically this time of year because there's so many deliveries and packages are easy pickings. >> they may be driving around neighborhoods and looking for packages and seeing whatever they see on the porches. >> there are many options to protect your packages this holiday season. the old standards have them delivered to your work or neighbor who's home during the day. and take advantage of signature requirements. if those aren't an option most delivery services will hold your package for pick up upon request and both the postal service and ups provide several methods of package tracking. >> take the steps necessary to ensure that either someone is there that you're able to track that package to assure it doesn't spend an unnecessary amount of time out in public view. >>
overcharged. julie watts goes undercover to find out how often it's happening and what safeway is doing about it in a story you'll see only on cbs 5. >>> reporter: i didn't get my savings on that right here. i can show you. more than 7 cents. sometimes it's a misplaced price. so that's the wrong sign? other times a computer error. but far too many times customers complain they are getting overcharged at safeway anywhere from 10 seconds to 10 bucks. >> i only have four receipts but it's been more than that. >> just recently i started keeping track because it was happening so often. >> i lost count. >> reporter: and they are not alone. back in 2003, safeway and its southern california vons stores paid fines following 2 separate lawsuits for overcharging and the company was again sued by state in 2008. the judgment in that lawsuit? if either store charges you more than the lowest advertised price in most cases you're supposed to get the item for free. >> in all the years i've called them on this, i have never gotten the item for flee. >> they just kind of unhappily give you the difference. >> re
. ,,,,,,,,,,,, getting a parking ticket cae exasperating -- and expensi. cbs 5 consumerwatch reporter julie watts on why it mighte worth your time to fight it. ts) parking.. >>> cbs 5 consumer watch reporter why it might be worth your time to fight it. >> parking. everyone is afraid of red zones. >> reporter: it could be a real pain, heck he wrote a book about it. >> i am noticing lately. you have to be afraid of the meter person not knowing the rules and giving you a ticket. >> reporter: if you get a ticket you don't deserve instead of blaming the officer you may want to blame the confusing sign. >> can i park here or not? >> nope. >> another sign up there. you have to be careful about every sign. >> reporter: this man got a tick net san francisco in a spot he thought would be legal. >> i got a ticket here. >> he saw the lines painted on the street. it is is what he did not see. >> hooked all over to see -- looked all over to see i don't know how i missed the sign. >> it is behind trees. >> i am waiting for had them to come back and say you are wrop. >> reporter: odds are that is what will happen f
that firefighters want banned. cbs 5 reporter julie watts shows us why. >> reporter: when you changed your battery this daylight savings, did you happen to check what kind of fire alarm it was in? the international association of firefighters say if you're one of the 95% with this type of alarm, you may want to change that too. >> it gives a false sense of security, thinking they're being protected when they're not. >> reporter: mark mcginn explains there are two types of fire alarm. the photo-electric, identified by this p. and it's more likely to save lives. the ionization, common in most homes because it's cheap, primarily responds to hot flaming fires, and in many cases, that's too late. he explains they're also prone to false alarms and 85% of them are purposely disabled as a result. as we discovered, even those that work may not work until it's too late. >> on top of this lid, i put a brand-new ionization smoke alarm. >> they set up a fish tank to simulate a smoldering fire. first, we put the photoelectric to the test. we start the clock. about a minute later... >> we're about 74 parts per
. >> and it is baffling to figure out well, what to do now. >> reporter: julie watts, cbs 5. >> experts say if your home does not fit the plan a guidelines you should use a structural engine to oversee the project. if you have a home that has been inadequately retrofitted the earthquake authority says it it may be possible to do fixes instead of starting all over again. >>> all right, people are going to be on the roadways, in the air, traveling for thanksgiving, we have the forecast. >> you know what i love about this time of the year just be side is everything, there is something happening every day. a christmas tree heighting and -- lighting and now ice rinks. now, we take you to union square. right there. it opened on november 7th. it will remain open until january 21st. and it is from 10:00 a.m. until 11:30 p.m. what a great night out there even though we have been picking up light raindrops. just some sprinkles that just skirted out there. sfo you will watch right there. a couple of sprinkles. that is about it. most he cloudy skies. i thought i would bring you up to paras far as the rainfall is co
of the year. as julie watts reports, depending on the products, you're likely to find a better deal before or after the big day. >>> reporter: we see it every year, the shopping stampede shortly after the last slice of pumpkin pie. but this year, you may want to stay home and digest because a lot of those black friday specials aren't so special. >> the goal of ads is to drum up excitement. >> reporter: but they say many black friday ads this year look awfully familiar. >> 90% of the retails we looked at were going to sell at least one of the exact same item at the same price this year as last year's black friday. >> reporter: for example, last year radioshack advertised this 500 gig usb for 49.99. this year it's offering the same product for the same price. it turns out it's not even the best price. >> this item started going on sale around august of this year. >> reporter: the usb price hit rock bottom five days ago selling for $5 cheaper than the black friday ad. similar for this wireless printer at staples selling for $199 this black friday, the same as last black friday but you could h
, they are on to you. cbs 5 consumerwatch reporter julie watts explains how stores know who you are. >>> reporter: when you make a return this holiday season, you may have to hand over more than just your receipt. >> i was required to provide them a copy of my driver's license where they actually took the information and scanned it into their database. >> reporter: two years ago, leslie told the children's place she was uncomfortable giving them her id just to make an exchange. the children's place told her, it's corporate policy. >> we can't do any returns without an actual id. >> reporter: a policy that's becoming more common. victoria's secret requires a photo i.d. which with or without a receipt. 62% of retailers have similar policies. so where does your information go? well, likely here to the retail equation, a service which tracks how often you bring stuff back and identifies habitual returners. the retail equation says return fraud and renting -- buying an item to wear and return -- costs the industry billions each year. so they are tracking you and all of your returns at all of the stores in t
's little frustrations. getting a parking ticket. it can be exasperating and expensive. julie watts on why it might be worth your time to fight it. >> reporter: parking -- >> everybody is afraid of the yellow zone or the red zone. >> reporter: it can be a real pain. even for a guy like david la bowa who calls himself a parking grewu. he wrote a book about it. >> you have to be afraid of the meter person not knowing the rules and giving you an erroneous ticket. >> reporter: but if you get a ticket you don't deserve, instead of blaming the officer, blame the confusing signs. >> can i park here or not? >> no. because there is another sign up there. that's why in the city you have to be careful about every sign. >> this man got a ticket in san francisco in a spot he thought was legal. >> i got a ticket right here. >> he saw the lines painted on the street, it's what he didn't see that cost him. >> i looked all over to see if there was any sign and i don't know how i missed that. >> because its behind a bunch of trees. >> that's how i missed it. and i'm waiting for them to come back and say tha
julie watts shows us why. [ wrong tape ] >> the 49ers were on fire. >> that's a good way to put it. ba da bump. >> reporter: did you happen to check what kind of fire aharm it was in? [ siren ] >> reporter: the international association of firefighters says if you're one of the 95% with an ionization alarm you may want to change that too. >> the ionization alarm should be banned taken off the market immediately. it gives an individual false sense of security thinking they are being protected when they're not. >> reporter: retired albany fire chief mark mcginn says there are two types of alarm, the photo electric identified by this p responds quickly to the deadliest smoldering fires and is more likely to save lives. the ionization common in most homes because it's cheap responds to hot flaming fires and in many cases that's too late. mcginn explains the ionization are prone to false alarmed and as a result 85% are disabled and even those that work may not work until it's too late. >> on top of this lid i have put a brand-new ionization smoke alarm. >> reporter: this home inspector set
on a pound of toxic chemicals. cbs 5 consumerwatch reporter julie watts explains one of those chemicals was banned decade ago. >> reporter: chlorinated tryss was banned in children's clothing in the 70s and since linked to cancer, developmental delays in children and known to cause tumors in lab animals but 40 years later a study found it still is likely in the couch your children sit on every day. a joint report out of uc- berkeley and duke found 85% of couches tested nationwide were treated with chemical flame retardant and nearly half contained chlorinated tryss the chemical banned from children's clothing. near california 100% of the couches sold contain the flame retardant due to flammability regulation from the '70s. new regulations are in the works but in the meantime, the best way to reduce your exposure is to wash your hands frequently, mop, dust and vacuum with a hepa filter. >>> have you ever booked a great hotel deal online only to be hit with surprise resort fees when a live? the federal trade commission says it's the common practice and it may violate the law. it's issued
its first and only sale of the year. cbs 5 consumerwatch reporter julie watts in san jose tonight. julie. >> reporter: first it got rid of sales altogether now it's bucking the black friday trend and didn't open on thanksgiving they are not offering door buster deals but they are in the middle of their one and only sale of the year. they say it's proof that customers want the sales. if you post them, they will come. sales signs something j.c. penney customers haven't seen in a while and this black friday they say it's what brought them back. do you think that without the big sale you would have come in today? >> that's debatable. >> i come less now than i did before. >> reporter: early this year, j.c. penney ditched its nearly 600 sales in favor of everyday low prices. but even when it dropped those prices by 40%, 10% of their customers dropped j.c. penney. >> things are not on sale so there's no real incentive to come in. >> people have to have something to look forward to. >> reporter: so every day low prices aren't going to get you in the door. >> no. >> and she is not alone. w
consumerwatch reporter julie watts on why so many residential retrofits fail to make the grade. >>> reporter: when it comes to retrofitting home inspector john fryer says he sees more things done wrong than right. >> no connection got some funky electric. >> reporter: and lois' house near the hayward fault is a perfect example. >> these washers are undersized. they are the wrong type of nails. the plywood needs to extend down to the foundation. >> reporter: his verdict? >> there is no value in this current retrofitting. >> reporter: a shock to silverstein who paid about $4,000 to earthquake-proof her home a decade ago and didn't cut corners. >> we got somebody reliable. we had a reference. you know, several references. >> reporter: well, it turns out many bay area homeowners are living with a similar false sense of security. it's estimated one to two- thirds of retrofits in the bay area are inadequate and won't prevent structural damage in a major earthquake. this structural engineer is often hired to fix subpar retrofits poor work done by contractors he says are simply in the dark. >> mostl
julie watts shows us a high-tech way to connect up to a dozen people at a time. >>> reporter: it sounds like a slot machine. but it's actually a video chat service. [ dingdong ] >> reporter: that's the sound of someone joining a call on oovoo. the company boasts it can connect up to a dozen people at once. two more than skype and google hangout which both set their limit at 10. >> it's a fun form of communication. so unlike facebook which lets you stay in touch with what your friends did, now you can take your friends along to do those things. >> reporter: but first, you will have to get all your friends to sign up for the same service. then you can start connecting. >> the brady bunch. >> reporter: and while you can chat with up to 12 people at once, the number of faces you actually see depends on your screen. on our mac, we maxed out at 6. intern ally could only see three on her smartphone and dave our coworker down the hall could only see one other person but here is a youtube link of what oovoo is supposed to look like on a pc. that's what you need to see all 12 faces at once. >> t
its first and only sale of the year this weekend. cbs 5 consumerwatch reporter julie watts in san jose to tell us if the company's new marketing strategy is work. julie. >> reporter: well, first, it got rid of sales altogether, and is bucking black friday. it's offering a one-day long sale of the season. and some say today's turnout is proof j.c. penney customers want their sales. if you post them, they will come. sales signs, something j.c. penney customers haven't seen in a while and this black friday they say it's what brought them back. do you think that without the big sale you would have come in today? >> that's debatable. >> i come less now than i did before. >> reporter: early this year, j.c. penney ditched its nearly 600 sales in favor of everyday low prices. but even when it dropped those prices by 40%, 10% of their customers dropped j.c. penney. >> things are not on sale so there's no real incentive to come in. >> people have to have something to look forward to. >> reporter: so every day low prices aren't going to get you in the door. >> no. >> and she is not alone. while
grocery bags. but on the consumerwatch julie watts is here with a warning about their reusable replacements. >> reporter: well, simply put, your reusable grocery bags may be as dirt as your underwear. that's the finding of a recent study out of loma linda university. researchers tested reusable bags and found the same kind of bacteria as is typical in dirty underwear. >> overall we found that 10% of the bags had e. coli, about 50% around there had coliforms and almost all the bags had some kind of bacteria. i don't think anybody wants fecal bacteria in their groceries bags. >> reporter: many folks store the bags in the back of the cars. a warm dark place. the perfect breeding ground for bacteria. scientists reese sently traced the 2010 norovirus outbreak to reusable bags. treat them like you do your underwear. watch them. the study found standard washing machine cycle kills the potentially harmful bacteria. you need to do it for -- >> clorox might help. >> i might throw in some bleach. >> twice. >>> all right. it's kinds of scary. paul has a big green blob out there. >> it is
. on the consumerwatch, julie watts here with the top four ways black friday is changing. jewelry. >> reporter: well, one of the most noticeable is amazon with a deal of the day through black friday. remember this? you no longer have to brave the black friday stampedes. the biggest change to black friday is that it's no longer just one day a year. black friday has itself expanded it a four-day weekend with many stores opening early on thanksgiving. and while some have already begun their sales, others will offer deeper discounts into late into december. no change, you don't have to set foot in the store at all. an estimated 70% of black friday bargains can now be found online because as consumer psychologist kate yarrow points out, retailers realize that's what consumers want. >> what we have is a bargain hungry consumer who is very sophisticated about online shopping so the old-fashioned way of black friday occurring in store at a particular time really doesn't meet the mentality of today's consumer. therefore, retailers are accommodating that by taking black friday online. >> reporter: other significa
, julie watts goes undercover to find out how often it's happening and what safeway is doing about it. >> you know what? i didn't get it. i can show you. >> reporter: sometimes it's a misplaced price. >> so that's the wrong sign? >> reporter: other times, a computer error. but far too many times, customers complain they're getting overcharged at safeway, anywhere from 10 cents to 10 bucks. >> just recently i started keeping track, because it was happening so often. >> i lost count. >> reporter: and they're not alone. back in 2003, safeway and its southern california von's stores paid fines following two separate lawsuits for overcharging. the judgment in the lawsuit, if either store charges you more than the lowest advertised price, in most cases you're supposed to get the item for free. >> in all the years i've called them on this, i've never gotten the item for free. >> they just kind of unhappily give you the difference. >> reporter: according to the department of weights and measures, that would be a direct violation of a court order. >> except for a few items like alcohol, dairy
consumerwatch reporter julie watts explains you might be wrong. >>> reporter: >> i just don't understand it. it does not make sense. >> reporter: when nan hawkins and her husband clay solder that '94 pontiac for $500, they never imagined it could cost them thousands. nan thought she did everything right. >> we'll have to get this cleared. >> reporter: three days after the sale she transferred the title and filled out the release of liability in person at the dmv. little did she know that very same day, the pontiac's new owner put the car back up for sale and packed it on the this dirt lot in salinas where it was promptly towed. the car now sits in this tow lot racking up $72 a day in storage fees and a tow truck driver says nan has to pay. >> basically, the guy at the tow yard is saying i can ruin your credit just because you won't pay me. that's not right. >> reporter: while the owner of the tow yard would not speak on camera, he gave us this dmv paperwork in a still lists nan hawkins as the pontiac's registered owner and says that makes her responsible for the fee. >> how can i be release
reporter julie watts explains what they had to do to get justice. >>> reporter: exhausted and anxious, the chang family waits outside the san francisco courtroom. >> i just couldn't figure out what we did wrong and that's what ate away at me. >> reporter: it's been six months when their dodd suggested brian drive their sister to the mall and walk the two blocks to the school so jenny had access to the car while shopping. instead it was towed. even though park something for patrons of the mall. >> i showed i had receipts that i was in the mall at the time. >> reporter: they refused to refund the $325 tow. >> even though your daughter went to the mall she have been the operator of the vehicle. >> that doesn't make sense. >> reporter: it doesn't make sense to consumer attorney and smalls claim just every judge al anolik either. stonestown is saying they should have switched seats before parking. >> of course they're wrong. this is stupid! no court is going to accept that. >> reporter: after our first story air stonestown decided to off them a gift card, after five months and countless ho
this morning, julie watts tells us this year's thanksgiving will likely cost you a little bit more. >> reporter: doesn't it seem like every year you hear the same thing? >> we have heard this before. >> we have. >> reporter: this year it will be a little more expensive as if the holidays weren't hard enough on the pocketbook. due to the drought, those thanksgiving staples are about to get more expensive. everything from turkey to cider will cost more this year. stuffing and pumpkin pie ingredients are expected to cost 4% more. the price of turkey and butter are up 5%. and apples and apple cider top the list with a 20 to 30% increase over last year. so in an effort to help you save, we're turning to the experts with our consumerwatch mommy blogger challenge. don't let the nam fooler. any frugal folks can afly. don't let name fool you. for more information go to cbssf.com consumerwatch. we have posted our own thanksgiving menu there and we are challenging you to help us save. we'll go shopping with the person with the lowest total price on our thanksgiving staples and feature their creative money
had a similar airbag problem in another type of vehicle. cbs 5 consumerwatch reporter julie watts shows us the damage. >> reporter: it may have looked like chelsea's car has been in a crash but the teen says these airbags in her 2001 ford focus deployed for no apparent reason. >> right about here was where the air bags went off. >> reporter: it happened as she was driving out of this parking lot at 10 miles an hour. >> there was a lot of white stuff like powder type stuff? i was like oh, my god, what happens? i was really scared. >> reporter: and hurt. not only did the air bag crack the windshield but the explosion left chelsea with minor injuries that her mother worries could have been much worse. >> i had a burn right here from the air bag and it cut my knees and i had bruises on my legs. >> she drives on the freeway. what if it happened on the freeway? there is no telling who would have crashed into her. >> reporter: the center for auto safety says unexpected airbag deployments in the ford focus are nothing new. >> the bottom line is, this is 2000 to 2001 ford focus had an airb
, it could be hard to tell if it was your fault or not. in san francisco, julie watt, cbs 5. >> i'm still not used to the garage here. that's why i find a garage. >> every time i spend 5 minutes doing that, it's the time thing. even if you're right, by the time you go in and take time off, it's a big thing. >>> the niners try to take a commanding lead. >> but the rams were standing in their a. they combine to do something not seen in fact nfl in four years. >> and this is not the ufc. it's nascar. what caused a big scuffle in the pits. >> submit nominations at our website and we could come and feature your school on the show. ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, what are you doing there? i am making crescent bacon cheddar pinwheels. wow, i'm impressed! [ ding ] dad, the cable's out! you got that right? [ kiss ] thank you ♪ [ male announcer ] pillsbury crescents. let the making begin. here's a better idea. pillsbury grands! flaky layers biscuits in just 15 minutes the light delicate layers add a layer of warmth to your next dinner. pillsbury grands biscuits let the making begin. >>> a look at the white hous
with the same consumer protections and you could end up with hidden fees, even the expiration date. >> julie watts explains how certain gift cards get around the california laws. >> do you like getting gift cards for the holidays? >> yes. >> of course i do. >> if you had a choice for a single card for a store or a visa gift card. >> a visa. >> so i can get clothes, because i have a lot of varieties i like to shop from. >> but not all gift cards are created equal. those like this here at see's candy come with protection, they can't expire and can't charge fees and if there is less than $10 left on the card, you get your cash back. but if you buy one of these gift cards, good for the whole mall, you may have expiration date and service fees and other things to be mindful of. >> i never thought about that. >> consumer affairs explain gift cards come with strict consumer protections. but those offered by banks and credit card companies fall under federal law. >> those can have expiration dates and that can charge service fees. but the brick and mortar stores cannot. >> and according to a new sur
watch, julie watts, cbs 5. >>> quite the life already and he's only three days old. baby knolland came into the world at a gas station with the help of three police officers and now he's the talk of the town. ken bastida is live with more on the healthy boy and a special reunion. hey, ken. >> reporter: we got a little at little nolan today, what a cute little kid. and you're right, the way he came into this world was extraordinary. so dad, barry miller, and mom, kimberly thomas, were reunited with the three officers who helped deliver their new son, jeffrey sid, charles stone and sean bowling sat there beaming as if they were the parents that did all of the work and in a sense they did. this all started on friday night at about 6:30. barry came home and said he found his wife in labor. her contractions were two minutes apart and put her in a car and taking her to kaiser hospital when all of a sudden she said pull over at the gas station, we're having the baby here. he ran outside and found the officers on a meal break. they came and assisted him in delivering the baby and he said, man,
cars worldwide. cbs 5 consumerwatch reporter julie watts tells us it involves 700,000 toyota priuses in the u.s. >> reporter: the latest in a string of recalls, this one for of the second generation prius being recalled to fix two problems, one a steering shaft can wear out leading to loss of control and half of them have water pump problems. toyota hasn't received reports of accidents but dealers say drivers should take the recall seriously. >> any recall on any vehicle should be a matter of concern for all drivers. get it repaired at a local dealer. >> reporter: dealers don't have the replacement parts yet but both fixes are expected to take three hours. affected owners should get recall letters next month. for information go to cbssf.com/consumerwatch. >> toyota is getting it. >> reporter: this is becoming a regular thing. >> yeah. thank you. >>> well, paul, a gorgeous day today. >> it's not going to last long. today was about perfect. you could have worn a sweatshirt, short sleeves, a tweener day mild in the sunshine, chilly in the shade. dry today but 24 hours from now we'll beg
black friday deals may not come on black friday. cbs 5 consumerwatch reporter julie watts with the best time to find the lowest prices. >>> reporter: we see it every year, the shopping stampede shortly after the last slice of pumpkin pie. but this year, you may want to stay home and digest because a lot of those black friday specials aren't so special. >> the goal of the ads is to drum up excitement. >> reporter: but matthew says many black friday ads this year look awfully familiar. >> 90% of the retails we looked at were going to sell at least one of the exact same item at the exact same price on this year's black friday as last year's. >> reporter: for example, last year, radioshack advertised this 500 gig usb for 49.99. this year it's offering the same product for the same price. it turns out it's not even the best price. >> this item started going on sale around august of this year. >> reporter: chris says the usb price hit rock bottom five days ago when it was selling for nearly $5 cheaper than the black friday ad. it's a similar story for this wireless printer at staples. selling
. >> cbs 5 consumerwatch reporter julie watts with how to stretch your paycheck on entertainment. >> reporter: it won best picture but that's not why john wycliff remembers the movie "the king's speech." >> it was a great movie but the theater was empty. there's only about two of us there. >> reporter: so the recent berkeley grad and some friends came up with an idea based on the priceline model. sell movie seats that otherwise might not get sold at a discount. >> 7 p.m. sounds good? >> reporter: it's called deal flicks and it lets you buy cheap tickets at primarily independent theaters across the country like oakland's grand lake. depending on the film and time of day, users get between 15 and 37% off the normal price of a seat. for example, this weekend, tickets for the movie lincoln are going for as little as $6. another option for discount movie tickets, costco. the big box store sells movie passes that can shrink the cost of a show to $8 and some change. ♪ [ music ] >> reporter: and for deep discounts on other kinds of entertainment, there's goldstar. the site charges a sm
reporter julie watts explains how stores know who you are. >>> reporter: when you make a return this holiday season, you may have to hand over more than just your receipt. >> i was required to provide them a copy of my driver's license where they actually took the information and scanned it into their database. >> reporter: when leslie told the children's place she was uncomfortable giving them her identification just to make an exchange, the children's place told her it's corporate policy. >> we can't do any returns unless we have an id. >> reporter: the children's place is not alone. victoria's secret requires a photo i.d. with or without a receipt. according to the national retail federation, 62% of retailers have similar policies. so where does your information go? well, likely here, to the retail equation. a service that tracks how often you bring stuff back and identifies habitual returners. the retail equation says return fraud and renting, buying an item to wear and return, cost the industry billions each year. so they are tracking you and all of your returns at all of t
to a major shift in the retail strategy. on the consumer watch, julie watts explains how everything has changed this holiday shopping season. >> reporter: what a difference a year makes. the sights and sounds of black friday have gone from this to this. as an estimated 41 million people started shopping on thanksgiving this year, the traditional black friday early birds had little company. >> we avoid the crazy lines, we're not the midnight people. we're the 6:30 a.m. people. so we're kind of in between the craziness and the fun. >> reporter: but no matter what time they hit the stores, an estimated 89 million people went shopping this black friday weekend. 3 million more than last year. and according to the national retail federation, most spent more money too. >> and that adds up to about $59 billion in spending this year compared to $52 billion last year. as half of all consumers say they did not wait until cyber monday to shop online. the internet spending this weekend topped $1 billion for the first time with amazon leading the pack. >> we are entering the world of perfect informat
consumerwatch reporter julie watts on ways to protect your doorstep deliveries. >>> reporter: you could call her the grinch who stole christmas. a brazen robber swiping a delivery from a front porch unabair she was on camera. >> i think it's opportunity. >> reporter: this officer says so-called porch pirating rises dramatically this time of year because there are so many deliveries and packages are easy pickings. >> they may actually be driving around neighborhoods and looking for packages and seeing whatever they see on the porches. >> reporter: but there are many options to protect your packages this holiday season. the old standards have them delivered to your work or neighbor who is home during the day, or take advantage of theft preventing delivery options like signature requirements. if those aren't an option, most delivery services will hold your package for pickup upon request and both the postal service and u.p.s. provide several methods of package tracking. some will even send an alert to your smartphone. >> take the steps necessary to ensure that either someone is there that you're ab
're not properly insured. cbs 5 consumerwatch reporter julie watts explains what you need to do to minimize your losses. >> reporter: he is trying to stay one step ahead of the storm. a decision don fielding hopes to pay off. >> i thought it was cleaner than it is. >> reporter: with powerful storms expected to pound streets and tear up trees it's time for homeowners to be pro- active. >> best advice is to make sure your home is ready for the next storm. >> reporter: an insurance industry spokesman says if you expect your insurance to cover storm damage, your insurance company expects to you put in some prep work. >> one of the things you have to remember is that an insurance policy is not a maintenance policy. >> reporter: sow you should be cleaning gutters checking windows for leaks and lowering the water level in your pool. clear obstructions around your property so water can flow around and not through it. >> if you start filing claims like every rainstorm, that starts to raise red flags. >> reporter: with precaution in place a standard homeowners' policy should cover storm damage to your hom
makes you pay your deductible. in daly city, julie watts, cbs 5. >> good advice. thanks, julie. >>> and in the next half hour, the growing fallout from the scandal that took down the cia director. how the cases led to consequences for the top u.s. general in afghanistan. >>> a deal to end the supermark strike. the agreement that prompted workers to put down the picket signs. >>> it feels awkward. >> but now he is running right. why you should think of eggs to avoid injury. [ laughter ] [ girl ] wow, you guys have it easy. i wish i had u-verse when i was your age. in my day, we didn't have these fancy wireless receivers. blah blah blah. if i had a sleepover, i couldn't just move the tv into the playroom. no. we had to watch movies in the den because that's where the tv outlet was. and if dad was snoring on the couch, we muscled through it. is she for real? your generation has it made. [ male announcer ] the wireless receiver only from at&t u-verse. get a free wireless receiver with a qualifying u-verse plan. rethink possible. petraeus affair. if you're keepi growing scanda >>> n
. the cbs 5 consumerwatch reporter julie watts tells us people who use pay phones often get a wake-up call when they see the bill. julie. >> reporter: that is right. with 25% of the new york city cell towers wiped out new yorkers are now lining up to use pay phones. and here in earthquake country we're just one tremor away from a similar situation but next time you're forced to use a pay phone you may be in for a surprise. [ beep ] >> reporter: it may have been a while since you've used one of these but the next time you make a pay phone call you'll need more than a quarter. try 20 bucks. >> that's pretty extreme. crazy. >> reporter: that's the holding fee that showed up on our bill weather we recently used a debit card to make a 20-second call at this pay phone from the airport to our station merely 13 miles away. the sign on the phone says a domestic call costs 8 contrary to the recording which quotes another pay phone rate. >> on the first minute charge will be $6.97. each additional minute will be 99 cents plusa.m. cal fees and taxes. >> reporter: it was adjusted to 6.97. but bill nus
off the assembly line any longer. >> as cbs 5 consumerwatch reporter julie watts tells us buckyballs are going buh-bye. >> reporter: after a long hard fight the maker of buckyballs is giving in and discontinuing production of these little magnetic balls. the government has been after the company for years due to numerous reported injuries as a result of swallowing the powerful little magnets. many of the cases in children and teens resulted in internal injuries when the magnets stuck together in the intestine. it's estimated at least 1700 people have been hospitalized in three years. the maker says it's pulling the product because of, quote, baseless and relentless legal badgering by the government. it will sell the remaining stock on its website but won't make any more. >>> as if the holidays weren't expensive enough due to the drought many thanksgiving staples will be more expensive everything from turkey to cider costing more this year. stuffing and pumpkin pie ingredients are expected to cost 4% more. the price of turkey and butter are up 5%. and apples and apple cider topped the
decade you likely have some money coming to you. cbs 5 consumerwatch reporter julie watts explains the deadline near in this billion- dollar class action settlement. >> that's right. your piece of $1 billion this is a case we first reported on last year and attorney generals in 24 states have now reached a $1.1 billion settlement. it stems from a price fixing schemes involving manufacturers like samsung, hitachi, sharp and a slew of companies that made displays for tvs and computers. an estimated 23 billion in price fixed panels were sold between 1999 and 2006. consumers have until december 6 to file a claim for a cash settlement of anywhere between $25 and $200 depending on how many tvs, monitors and laptops you purchased. >>> well, now that hostess is going out of business, twinkies are selling like hotcakes. and apparently, so is twinkie merchandise. twinkie the kit lunchboxes are a hot item. ebay listed one 14.99 last week sold for $690 today. >> come on. >> whoo. >> that's right. if that's out of your price range there are others averaging $100 >>> the tsa is easing up on res
, julie watts explains how everything has changed this holiday shopping season. >> reporter: what a difference a year makes. sights and sound of black friday have gone from this to this. as an estimated 41 million people started shopping on thanksgiving this year, the traditional black friday early birds had little company. >> we avoid the crazy lines. we're not the midnight people. we're the 4:30 a.m. people so we're in between the craziness and the fun. >> reporter: but no matter what time they hit the store, the estimated 89 million people that went shopping this black friday and 3 million more than last year and according to the national retail federation, most spent more money. >> that adds up to about $59 billion in spending this year compared to $52 billion last year. >> but the big shopping is not waiting until cyber monday. internet shopping topped $1 billion for the first time with amazon leading the pack. >> we have information where customers have amounts of information at their finger tips whether it is a smart- phone or tablet computer. so customers are able to go wh
to be delivered. cbs 5 consumerwatch reporter julie watts on ways to protect your doorstep deliveries. >>> reporter: you could call her the grinch who stole christmas. a brazen robber swiping a delivery from a front porch unaware she was being captured on camera. >> i think it's opportunity. >> reporter: officer david blake says so-called porch pirating rises dramatically this time of the year because there are so many deliveries and packages are easy pickings. >> they may be driving around neighborhoods looking for packages and seeing whatever they see on the porches. >> reporter: but there are many options to protect your packages this holiday season. the old standard, have them delivered to your work or neighbor who is home during the day and take advantage of theft preventing delivery options like signature requirements. if those aren't an option, most delivery services will hold your package for pickup upon request and both the post office and u.p.s. provide several methods of package tracking. some will even send an alert to your phone. >> take the steps necessary to ensure some
inches of rain can do a lot of damage to homes and property. cbs 5 consumerwatch reporter julie watts explains what housework and homework homeowners need to do to minimize the losses. >> reporter: he is trying to stay one step ahead of the storm. a decision don fielding hopes will pay off. >> i thought it was cleaner than it really is. >> reporter: with powerful storms expected to pound streets soak cars and tear up trees it's time for homeowners to be pro-active. >> best piece of advice is to make sure your home is ready for the next storm. >> reporter: an insurance industry spokesman says if you expect your insurance to cover storm damage, your insurance company expects you to put in some prep work. >> one of the things you have to remember is the insurance policy is not a maintenance policy. >> reporter: so you should be cleaning gutters, checking windows for leaks and lowering the swimming pool water level and clear obstructions around your property so water can flow around and not through it. >> if you start filing claims like every rainstorm, that raises red flags. >> reporter:
5 consumerwatch reporter julie watts says the epa is about to review mileage claims. >> reporter: car commercials are boasting great gas mileage but last week, the epa discovered two korean carmakers inflated their mileage figures and it seems the agency is taking a closer look now at everyone. it was an epa audit that revealed hyundai and kia boosted their mileage by as much as 13 miles per gallon on 13 models and the agency says that aud sit part of an ongoing investigation suggesting other carmakers soon come under similar scrutiny. the epa says the guidelines for testing -- it sets those guidelines for testing, and it expects that the industry will follow them. >>> well, hurricane sandy is having a ripple effect across the country and it's threatening the holiday shopping season. with closed ports, flooded warehouses and little gas they are having trouble getting product out of northeast before the looming cutoff for seasonal orders. with the supply chain backing it up could mean less product or pricier product here this holiday season. >>> and in an effort to boost those hol
consumerwatch reporter julie watts has been working on a story about a brave driver who had a similar airbag problem in another type of vehicle, a bay area driver. >> reporter: it may have looked like chelsea's car has been in a crash but the teen says these airbags in her 2001 ford focus deployed for no reason. it happened as she was driving out of this parking lot at 10 miles an hour. >> there was a lot of white stuff like powder type stuff. what happened? i was really scared. >> reporter: and hurt. not only did the airbag crack the windshield but the explosion left chelsea with minor injuries that her mother worries could have been much worse. >> i had a burn right here from the airbag and it cut my knees and i had bruising on my legs. >> she drives on the freeway. of what in it happened on the freeway? there is no telling who would have crashed into her. >> reporter: clarence of the center for auto safety says unexpected airbag deployments in the ford focus are nothing new. >> the bottom line is, the 2000- 2001 ford focus clearly had an airbag problem in the early days. >> reporter: in f
consumerwatch reporter julie watts shows us when the best deals do turn up. >>> reporter: we see it every year, the shopping stampede shortly after the last slice of pumpkin pie. but this year, you may want to stay home and digest because a lot of those black friday specials aren't so special. >> the goal of the ads is to drum up excitement. >> reporter: but matthew says many black friday ads this year look awfully familiar. >> 90% of the retails we looked at were going to sell at least one of the exact same item at the exact same price on this year's black friday as last year's. >> reporter: for example, last year, radioshack advertised this 500 gig usb for 49.99. this year it's offering the same product for the same price. it turns out it's not even the best price. >> this item started going on sale around august of this year. >> reporter: chris says the usb price hit rock bottom five days ago when it was selling for nearly $5 cheaper than the black friday ad. it's a similar story for this wireless printer at staples. selling for $199 this black friday, the same as last black friday but you
's nick watt. >> reporter: there she is. a millionaire who oh, so nearly missed out on a fortune. 59-year-old julie cervera, flanked by kids and grandkids. >> i'm just so happy. >> reporter: that's her daughter who bought her the winning ticket. the mystery woman in those famous photos released by lotto officials, searching for their winner. flashing them all over the local news. >> she purchased a winning ticket for the may 30th drawing. >> and i thought she robbed a bank. >> she deserves it. as you can see, she loves us. and if anyone deserves it, it's her. she takes care of us. >> my son passed away by a drunk driver. and i just wish i didn't have this money and i could have him. you know? so, that's like the hardest thing. but i know he's up there. and he's saying, you go, mom. >> reporter: she opted for the lump-sum payout. $17.8 million in cash to shower on friends and family. including two special-needs boys she adopted after her husband died. >> it's getting crazier. and i can't stop crying. it feels really good. our future is going to change. and a lot of people will be blessed b
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